Skip to comments.Obama Spending $1 Million to Fight Global Warming with Wooden Skyscrapers
Posted on 03/21/2014 5:33:42 AM PDT by SJackson
- FrontPage Magazine - http://www.frontpagemag.com -
Obama Spending $1 Million to Fight Global Warming with Wooden Skyscrapers
Posted By Daniel Greenfield On March 20, 2014 @ 4:09 pm In The Point | No Comments
I’m still waiting for the press release on sustainable living by going back to the caves.
Environmentalism, like any leftist ideology, is so incoherent that it has gone straight from activists chaining themselves to trees to fight logging to promoting “emerging wood technologies” to fight Global Warming.
The White House launched a new campaign to sell its global warming agenda to rural America: sustainable buildings, including skyscrapers, made out of wood to lower carbon dioxide emissions.
The Agriculture Department (USDA) announced it was launching a new $1 million program to promote wood as a green building material to boost rural economies, as well as a $1 million competition to demonstrate the architectural and commercial viability of using sustainable wood products in high-rise construction, according to Department.
Wood may be one of the worlds oldest building materials, but it is now also one of the most advanced, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Building stronger markets for innovative new wood products supports sustainable forestry, helps buffer reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and puts rural America at the forefront of an emerging industry.
An emerging industry of… wood. I’m pretty sure carpentry has been around for a while. I don’t know how much time you have to spend in Washington to believe that building things out of wood is an emerging industry.
Emerging engineered wood technologies can be used in industrial building projects such as tall buildings and skyscrapers, as well as other projects. By some industry estimates, a 3-5 story building made from emerging wood technologies has the same emissions control as taking up to 550 cars of the road for one year.
But there are worries that have given cities some pause in adopting wooden high-rises. The Oregonian reports that building codes that restrict wood construction for fear of structural weakness or vulnerability to fire. Cross-laminated timber panels are combustible, but char and burn out without buckling, reports the Oregonian.
Its also unclear if wooden panel high-rises and skyscrapers will have the durability of steel buildings and be as economical as steel. Wooden buildings also need to be treated for termites and can warp and twist over time. Steel does not suffer from such problems.
I’m sure it won’t be a problem. Mass death when a fire spreads across a city and takes down all its wooden skyscrapers will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the human beings who have been turned into ash.
The only remaining question is what will environmental activists chain themselves to now?
No talk of the white “wage slaves” who toiled in the mines and factories and built this great nation?
Why just not use stone and finish taking us back into the Stone age?
“Cross-laminated timber panels are combustible, but char and burn out without buckling, reports the Oregonian.”
This is sheer idiocy and I say that as someone around carpentry all my life.
And then, there is Portland cement concrete. Of course it needs steel reinforcing but it is superior to wood both structurally and architecturally.
I would think a proper use of Green wood would be to make the frames and support structures for wind turbine towers and solar collector arrays. That however is not done. There are no such structures made from wood composites.
lol!!!!! Unclear to whom? Come on, this is caveman stupid.
I thought the great Chicago fire showed us something about building cities out of wood
I really want to be 50 stories up in a wood building
Install a moat and bailey, call Monty Python and feign food sickness...
Depends on who is driving the horse
There’s a reason wooden buildings never reach more than a few stories in height.
They’re easier for the Eco terrorist to burn like the SF, CA Castro fire recently?
I’ve read this a couple of times. This has to be from the Onion. Satire?
Ever been on a wooden roller coaster?
Its a unique experience...fun at the theme park, but not for an office building.
I usually agree with Greenfield. However, he is not an engineer. Also, I do not think any of you are based on your comments.
Let me enlighten you. They are not talking about building with the 2x4’s and 2x10’s you can buy at Home Depot.
Laminated Veneer Lumber and cross laminated lumber can replace steel in many of the applications required for tensile strength beam and column applications. Imagine plywood that is 6-12” thick and 40’ long.
Lumber can also be made fire retardant and resistant to insects. This is no different than the bonded cellulose insulation that is blown into EVERY new construction house/building in North America. Bonded cellulose is ground up newspaper treated with a fire retardant. Also, unlike San Francisco and Chicago in the 1800’s, ALL commercial buildings now have sprinkler systems.
ALL modern houses, built in the last 10-20 years already have laminated veneer lumber(LVL) in them. These are the main carrying beams that typically support the center of the house. They replaced solid timber beams because they are STRONGER and lighter. They are also used as the header/carrying beam above your garage door opening. They allow you to have a clear span across much wider spans than traditional wood framing.
Lastly, ask a fire fighter is they would rather go into a wood framed building or a steel framed building that has caught fire. The wood will char and stay up longer than steel.
Concrete is a good building material but you do not see 100 story buildings being built out of concrete alone. That is because it shrinks and expands with changes in weather. It requires large expansion joints or it will buckle. When it shrinks it will crack. Also, it does not have the tensile strength of wood or steel. That is why there is so much rebar added to concrete. However, that rebar is subject to corrosion over time. It is difficult to gauge that corrosion when it is surrounded by 6” of concrete.
FYI, I have a BS in Wood Products Engineering from the SUNY/Syracuse Forestry College. This is Civil/Mechanical Engineering applied specifically to wood. I have also been a lumber broker for 28 years. I have also built/designed and remodeled four houses.
Anything to sell your product huh. LOL
We need to have a rerun of ‘Towering Inferno’.
That’s what wood does. That’s what wood really wants to do. Lots of effort needs to be expended to make sure that doesn’t happen in fact.
They reason concrete is used is because it is CHEAP and it has good compression strength when cured. It is also very heavy. Why not just build all our multistory buildings out of granite? It has good compression strength, is pretty and will last for 3000 years.
On the other hand. Lets build all our buildings out of graphite, titanium and Kevlar. I am sure a Kevlar building would be much stronger than steel, concrete or cellulose based materials.
Actually, I have no vested interest in the sale of LVL or composite lumber.
Anything to support your ideas, even when you do not know what you are talking about.
Do you have ANY experience in construction, design or engineering. Have you ever built a dog house?
OK, so when you lose an argument, because you have no facts to support your statements you resort to name calling and foul language.
This site is supposed to be about promoting the truth, not clinging to unsubstantiated beliefs.
If you can state any facts to show that I am wrong in my engineering analysis please feel free to bring them to the discussion.
Good one, sticks and stones.
Again, if someone can show me that I am wrong based on FACTS of engineering design I will admit my mistake.
I believe one of the tenants of Free Republic is refrain from name calling.
You’re an embarrassment to real engineers.
You demean this site.
Well he came here and said no one here knew what they were talking about.
I worked in a saw mill and I say he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
I agree there are fine developments in the uses of wood and timber products in major construction, even as structural members. But to have a major part of this crafted toward hi-rise seems to be off the wall — that is the point of the article, it is green wacko driving it and not industry or engineering.
Over fifty years of construction I have been involved in large span laminated timber elements so I have an appreciation for the subject as well, but hi-rise is a whole different set of issues.
I do appreciate your comments.
Please explain your statement.
How does replacing steel/concrete with LVL/cross laminated lumber IF it exceeds or compares to the tensile/compression engineering values of those other products not work?
I am not saying these new engineered wood materials will replace steel in all instances. However, it could in many. I believe it is more of a question of cost than feasibility.
Please feel free to enlighten me........
It's not what you said, it's how you said it. Grow up and please follow the rules here.
Laminate for houses - sure. The subject here is skyscrapers.
Are you suggesting you can replace the steel super-structure in even a 50 story bldg with laminate?
This is lumber veneer glued together with waterproof glues where the veneers are aligned at 90 degree angles and the defects(knots, wane, splits, etc.) have been removed. The glue is stronger than wood itself. It is like really thick plywood that could be manufactured to be 72’ or 80’ long.
The length limitation would be because those are the longest available A frame Flatcars available to the North American railroads. 100 years ago nobody used plywood when building. Fifty years ago nobody used OSB when building. Forty ago nobody used Laminated Veneer Lumber for a support beam. Thirty years ago nobody used wooden I-joists. I am sorry I got your dander up, that was not my intention FRiend. Who's sawmill did you work for?
“Are you suggesting you can replace the steel super-structure in even a 50 story bldg with laminate?”
Potentially, yes. PROBABLY not. It is more of a function of cost of one material versus another. I made the ridiculus statement in another post that you could build a 50 story building out of Kevlar or graphite and titanium. However, it would be way too expensive.
Actually, there have been prototype beams built with laminated veneer lumber, with graphite/Kevlar sandwiched between the veneers of wood. Adirondack baseball bat company tried this to keep baseball bats from breaking and becoming dangerous flying objects at your local MLB park. The same thing could be applied to give additional tensile strength to a beam that is 70’ long.
Thank you for bringing some expertise to the discussion.
I do not agree with the wacko greenie environmental driving the discussion. I have seen many friends affected by the wacko green environmental movement especially in the Pacific northwest. I have friends that lost their jobs, had to up root their families all because of the spotted owl, cut throat trout or whatever surrogate they could come up with to curtail logging.
I only agree IF it is economically feasible to replace steel/concrete with wood cellulose composites. Based on engineering principles, it is becoming possible. Based on cost, it may not something we see in the next few years.
I think we're on the same page. And as you noted in your most recent reply to CC, there are "new" building material becoming "standard" on a regular basis.
My concern (and yours too I assume) with articles such as this, is that we'll move from govt funding to forced govt mandates - ala the incandescent light bulb.
Like other ideas, laminates - in all their flavors - will be used more and more as the market approves their worth. Just keep the d@mn govt out of it...
1 million dollars will pay for about 4 beaurocrats for almost a year. The free advertising that this story has generated has a much higher value.
Now your pickin up what I’m puttin down. :)
Let it stand on its own merit. The free market will determine what is the best product to meet the need.
To put it simply, fire. Wood does not handle fire well at all.
Rigidity, weight, span, connections are all massive issues as well.
The free market will determine what is the best product to meet the need.
I think I said the same thing...
Wood can be made fire retardant. The Twin Towers collapsed, they were made from steel and concrete. Steel melts and deforms when subjected to fire too.
LVL can replace steel when it comes to tensile strength. This gives you the rigidity and span. It is lighter than steel.
I do concede than connections could be a major issue. This why you see steel plate connectors inside timber framed structures. The specific gravity of lumber is too low to hold bolts without steel reinforcement.
What I can envision are multistory buildings that would be a combination of steel/LVL/concrete hybrid construction.
Each one of these materials has its advantages. The cost of materials will determine if at some point in the future they are economically feasible.
Now your pickin up what Im puttin down. :)
Slang for: we understand each other.
First of all, I want to leave aside the issue of wood as primary structural members in highrise construction because that is all very special case issues with hundreds of angles involved.
In low rise and mid rise construction, the heavy timber and glue lam timber members do have some good features.
The thing that many people don’t realize is that in most fires, steel does not hold up to heat nearly as well as would be assumed for a non-combustable member — it conducts heat too well.
I have seen buildings burnt out where heavy timber survied and the steel members did not for this very reason.
What ever member is used for primary framing, fire resistance is more a factor of the fire protection, fire resistive elements, contents and fire suppression than the issue of primary structural members.
When I have looked at these matters before on fire code appeals boards, the issues are very complex and have to center around tested “assemblies” of materials used in a rated wall, roof, floor, or structural system and its surviability in “hours” as rated by an accredited testing lab. Simple material characteristics alone do not provide all the answers.
To the thread in general, our one poster from the wood and timber industry has tried to present some surprising insight and we have beat him up as though he is trying to excuse Obama. While there is a lot of ‘grant money’ thinking and waste in all of these programs, not every participant is malicious — either in the programs or someone offering comments on our forum.
Trees are a renewable resource, but wood is not suitable for high rise construction. Simple facts seem to escape this regime.
global warming is a hoax that democrats created to grow socialism(big government) and destroy capitalism(freedom)
As an engineer who oversees building design, I can confirm that wood composites CAN be pound-for-pound stronger than steel when considering building structures applications.
Fire spread is much less of an issue today due to extensive sprinkler and fire barrier requirements. Even steel is not fireproof and must be coated/enclosed. Wood can be covered in the same fashion to survive several hours of fire.
However, manufacturing such advanced composites in the quantity and size needed for a building would cost far more than steel and will most likely be less “green” overall.
Also, steel can be melted down and recycled easily. Such wood composites can’t and new trees must be cut each time.
IMO, this is another “green” gimmick to make someone money through government force.
But stone lasts longer FRiend:
Well, in today’s society, there is a factor known as design life. While some buildings might be designed to last a very long time, most are not.
I cannot cite an example but am pretty sure there are Roman concrete structures presently in use
He never hard of the Chicago Fire I guess.